Cong pledges to table removal notice against Speaker
"We will certainly bring a motion for removal of Pradip Kumar Amat from the Speaker's post in the next budget session of the Assembly. Amat has been functioning like 'Dhritarastra' of Mahabharat," Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress told reporters before rushing to Raj Bhavan to lodge formal complaint against the Speaker.
When contacted, Speaker Amat said, "The allegation is not true. The opposition is given due scope in the Assembly."
Though the party was aware about its small number in the House of 147 members, the Congress wanted to keep it on record about the alleged "partisan" manner being adopted by Amat as the Speaker, Singh said.
Congress has only 27 members in the Odisha Assembly while the number of the ruling BJD is 108, BJP six, CPI one and rest five Independent MLAs.
Alleging that Amat did not function in an impartial manner as a Speaker, Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan alleged the opposition voice had been muffled.
"We are not being given chance to raise any issue in the public interest. The Speaker has been rejecting our notices relating to people's problem on the ground of the matter being sub judice," Harichandan said.
Claiming that important bills were being passed in the Assembly without debate in absence of Opposition, Harichandan said the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) had brought this matter to the attention of the governor.
"We have requested the governor not to give consent to such bills which have been passed illegally without proper discussion," Harichandan said.
BJP also slammed the Speaker's style of functioning. "This speaker has created a dark chapter in the history of Odisha Legislative Assembly," said BJP MLA Jaynarayan Mishra.
Defending the Speaker, Parliamentary Affairs minister Kalpataru Das said: "Opposition is being given more chance to raise their issues in Odisha Assembly. The speaker gives maximum importance to the Leader of Opposition and opposition MLAs."